The Role of Time in Embedded System Design
Prof. Dr. Dr.h.c. Hermann Kopetz (TU Vienna, Austria)

Embedded systems interact with the physical environment in order to achieve the intended effects in the environment. The behavior of the physical environment is governed by the laws of physics where real-time is a central concept. It follows that in the model of the environment that is contained in the embedded computer system time is also of central importance. This lecture will focus on the role of time in Embedded System Design. The different models of time in the physical environment—dense time—and in the computer system—discrete time—lead to fundamental conflicts at the interface of these two subsystems. In the first part of the lecture we will elaborate on these conflicts and their consequences for the faithfulness of the computer models of the physical subsystem concerning simultaneity and determinism. In the second part we will present practical guidelines for the system designer in order to achieve the predictable temporal behavior of the embedded system.

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